Coco Chanel was famously credited with inventing the little black dress, but she is also responsible for another wardrobe staple – the little black jacket.
Hip-length and boxy in style, the Chanel LBJ was originally launched in 1954 when it was radically different from the nipped-in shape of the Dior jackets popular at the time.
Chanel’s woman was modern and emancipated and the style reflected this.
Her versatile tweed, braid-trimmed, silk-lined jacket sat just-so on the body, the bottom hem weighed down with a thin brass chain.
Variations on the same design are shown each season and sell for thousands – couture versions are still made at the fashion house’s atelier on Paris’ Rue Cambon.
This month, the jacket is the subject of an exhibition which will run at London’s Saatchi Gallery (October 12-28) and includes 113 photographs of celebrities such as Alexa Chung, taken by Chanel’s creative director, Karl Lagerfeld.
“The jacket I photographed is the most classic one,” Karl Lagerfeld explains.
“The closest to the original one Mademoiselle Chanel created.”
THE LITTLE BLACK JACKET EXHIBITION
Saatchi Gallery is opening its doors to Chanel’s photographic exhibition dedicated to Karl Lagerfeld’s latest book, The Little Black Jacket.
Opening in October, and following the lead of Tokyo, New York, Taipei and Hong Kong, this exhibition underlines the brand’s values of creativity, modernity and excellence.
Featuring 113 iconic photographs of Karl Lagerfeld, modelled on a range of friends and models of the brand, each photo is unique.
From Lily Allen donning a cape to a draped look on model Stella Tennant, or even transformed into a vest on model Edie Campbell, each photo reflects the individual style of each woman.
The Little Black Jacket: CHANEL’s classic revisited by Karl Lagerfeld and Carine Roitfeld will be available worldwide in bookshops this autumn.
The exhibition will be open to the public from Friday 12th October to Sunday 28th October 2012.